Golden Tate is still smarting about the Lions’ bizarre Week 3 loss to the Falcons, and it’s hard to blame him.
Toward the end of the Raiders-Chiefs game on Thursday night, Oakland’s Jared Cook appeared to catch a game-winning touchdown, just like Tate versus the Falcons, only the officials called it back after review.
There were 16 seconds left and the Raiders were out of timeouts. Tate was quick to point out what was about to happen.
Sure enough, the Raiders were hit with a 10-second runoff. But then the refs deviated from the script of the Lions-Falcons game.
Rather than wind the clock down to 0:06 — 10 seconds from when Cook came down with the ball in the end zone — they ruled that Cook had been touched down at the one-yard line with 18 seconds left, and wound the clock down to 0:08.
Had the refs applied the same process at the end of the Lions-Falcons game, they may have found that Tate was down at the half-line yard with 11 seconds left, which would have afforded the Lions one more play to win the game. Instead, they assessed the 10-second runoff from the moment Tate was in the end zone — 0:08 — and the game was over.
This discrepancy wasn’t lost on Lions fans.
It’s fair to wonder if the ending of the Lions-Falcons game influenced that of the Raiders-Chiefs game.
Either way, the clock adjustment didn’t matter. Though the Raiders had a touchdown called back due to offensive pass interference on the ensuing play, only five seconds came off the clock. They would have been able to run another play — and, as it turned out, another and another — whether the 10-second runoff had taken the clock down to 0:08 or 0:06.
The ending of the game, which included three untimed downs, finally resulting in a touchdown by Michael Crabtree, left Tate befuddled.
In the aftermath of the Lions-Falcons game, Tate made it clear he strongly disagreed with the finish. He also called attention to a Dez Bryant touchdown on the ensuing Monday night that looked eerily similar to the one Tate thought he had scored versus the Falcons.
Still not over it? Again, hard to blame him.